Dispatch from the Association of Internet Researchers conference, Phoenix, AZ, October 21-25, 2015

Dr. Laura DeNardis with some of her doctoral students and postdoctoral researcher and former AU SOC student Tijana Milosevic

At this year’s Association of Internet Researchers conference, Dr. Laura DeNardis and several of her doctoral students presented current projects on Internet governance. During a panel titled “Doing Internet Governance – STS-informed Perspectives on Ordering the Net”, Dr. DeNardis and doctoral candidate Andrea Hackl discussed the need to investigate the mediation of LGBT rights at the deeper level of Internet governance rather than the content level. In a session on privacy, doctoral candidate Tatevik Sargsyan discussed different data localization proposals by governments. In this context, Tatevik argued that governments use concerns over privacy and security to pursue their political and economic agenda. Postdoctoral researcher and former AU SOC doctoral student Tijana Milosevic presented on tools used by social media to respond to cyberbullying incidents on the platforms. Together with American University Professors Dr. Patricia Aufderheide and Dr. Aram Sinnreich as well as Dr. Benjamin Burroughs from the University of Iowa, Tijana also presented on attitudes on use and copying of copyrighted material.Read More »


Dispatch from the Internet Governance Forum – Washington, D.C., July 16, 2015

ThisIGF year’s Internet Governance Forum started with a keynote by Larry Strickling, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA). Discussing the transition of oversight over critical domain name functions from NTIA to the global Internet community, Strickling emphasized the importance of multistakeholder involvement as “the best way to set the future direction of the Internet.” In the following keynote conversation, Internet pioneers Vint Cerf and Steve Crocker discussed issues ranging from IPv6 adoption to the expansion of the top-level domain name system and the role of mobile for the expansion of the Internet. Cerf and Crocker also addressed concerns over global challenges to free expression, open innovation and the stability of Internet infrastructure. Despite these ongoing challenges, Cerf expressed optimism that “freedom of expression and openness will prevail” on the Internet.

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New Paper: Internet governance by social media platforms

iStock_000027835386_FullIn scholarship on Internet governance, much attention has focused on the role of global institutions like ICANN as well as the policy decisions of nation-states and intergovernmental organizations in keeping the Internet operational and mediating citizen rights. More recently, scholarship has turned attention to the role of private intermediaries in governing civil liberties online. The current study examined transparency reports, user policies and technological design choices of dominant social media platforms to demonstrate their role in promoting and constraining values related to privacy and anonymity, free expression and innovation.Read More »

Dispatch from the 65th ICA Annual Conference, San Juan, PR, May 21 – 25, 2015

Tatevik and Andrea with Bill  Herman, Professor at CUNY
Tatevik and Andrea with Bill Herman, Professor at CUNY

By Tatevik Sargsyan

Tatevik Sargsyan and Andrea Hackl, PhD candidates at American University’s School of Communication, presented findings from their joint study on the enactment of social media’s speech policies at the International Communication Association’s annual conference Communication Across the Life Span in San Juan, PR. Read More »